Best Practices on how to dispose of PPE during pandemic?

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  • JillHass
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Best Practices on how to dispose of PPE during pandemic?

Any Best Practices on how to dispose of PPE during pandemic? If incineration is not possible, what is being recommended for final disposal?
Global Technical Director, WASH
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  • Elisabeth
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Re: Best Practices on how to dispose of PPE during pandemic?

Hi Jill,
I think the only other option is landfill, or do you have something else in mind?
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Re: Best Practices on how to dispose of PPE during pandemic?

Dear SuSanA Members.

Certain ULBs feel that Controlled Incineration, may be done for PPE items that can be segregated.
All others to go to Safe secure, Sanitary Landfill.
It is here caution is to be afforded, because at most sites, the decision takes longer time.

Well wishes.
Ajit Seshadri.
Prof. Ajit Seshadri, Faculty in Marine Engg. Deptt. Vels University, and
Head-Environment , VigyanVijay Foundation, Consultant (Water shed Mngmnt, WWT, WASH, others)Located at present at Chennai, India
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  • Chaiwe
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Re: Best Practices on how to dispose of PPE during pandemic?

Hello Jill and All,

I decided to do a bit of research on this topic to see what else I could find. 

In China, at the peak of the virus hospitals in Wuhan were generating up to six times more waste than normal, a new medical waste plant and more mobile treatment facilities were constructed to deal with the excess.  news.cgtn.com/news/2020-03-17/How-Wuhan-...Uxhr4jW1i/index.html

For some countries, especially developing countries, existing systems that are reliant on the informal sector can worsen the COVID-19 waste issue. India, for example, has a poor record for clinical waste disposal with many violations of government regulations reported, like the mixing of clinical and general waste and illegal dumping. In fact, since the beginning of the pandemic, large amounts of used PPE have been found dumped in open spaces of New Delhi and significant volumes stored by workers in the informal sector for potential resale. For many countries, landfills are the only realistic short-term solution due to a lack of infrastructure which can safely treat infectious waste. This is the case across many developing countries across the African continent as well.  theconversation.com/what-happens-to-wast...irus-pandemic-137632

For other countries, there are better options of incineration. In as much as the governments of many developing countries are taking active measures to contain and reduce the spread of COVID-19, strategies to manage solid wastes, like used PPE, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, are lacking. Governments in developing countries can adopt the strategies developed by the Lagos State Waste Management Authority, where proactive measures are taken to restrict access of waste pickers to its landfills. Special waste collection buckets for collecting disposable PPEs could be provided in buildings in residential, government, hospitals, and in public places. Such waste collection buckets could be emptied, at least daily, by trained personnel who would then dispose of the PPE following Nigeria Centre for Disease Control guidelines. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7221374/

Replacing single-use with reusable PPE that is cleaned between uses could also be a welcome option to reduce the amount of waste. 

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Chaiwe
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Chaiwe Mushauko-Sanderse BSc. NRM, MPH
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  • rochelleholm
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Re: Best Practices on how to dispose of PPE during pandemic?

Although not directly related to waste management for the pandemic, for the rural healthcare setting here are some recent observations and best practice in Malawi:

Mmanga, M., Singini, W., Di Bella, V., Flaherty, M. G. and Holm, R. H. Unpacking healthcare waste management at rural village health clinics in the Ntcheu District (Malawi). Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 2019, 191:175, pages 1-10. DOI: 10.1007/s10661-019-7306-6  https://rdcu.be/bnMXR

Best of luck,  waste management of PPE for rural healthcare setting is always a challenge and now even more so with the pandemic. 
Rochelle Holm, Ph.D., PMP
Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation
Mzuzu University (Malawi)
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  • JillHass
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Re: Best Practices on how to dispose of PPE during pandemic?

Dear Chaiwe: Many thanks to you for your detailed and thoughtful response. My assumptions has been that increased solid waste was being produced through PPE disposal but I did not have any data -- thank you for this information.

All: My thoughts are on incineration for a well designed system, meaning specifically ensuring that sufficiently high temperatures are reached for contaminant removal. 

Much appreciated.

regards,
Global Technical Director, WASH
Relief International
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